John Beacham is a community college teacher, a union member, a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and an anti-war/social justice activist. He was the Midwest coordinator of the PSL campaigns for president in 2008 and 2012. In 2008, Beacham ran for State Representative in Illinois.
Anti-Trump meeting, Chicago
On Nov. 15, 2016, over 300 people gathered for a mass meeting organized by the ANSWER Coalition in Chicago. The meeting was organized to help spark a mass movement to defend immigrants, Muslims, people of color, LGBTQ people, women and all those under attack by the impending Trump administration.
A major focus of the meeting was building the next major anti-Trump march on Nov. 19 in Chicago. We will be meeting at Federal Plaza at 12 noon and marching to Trump Tower. Join the protest on facebook, invite your friends and share.
The meeting was chaired by ANSWER organizers Stefanie Fisher and Laika Kollontai. In her opening statement, Fisher reminded the crowd that we can not and should not look to the Democratic Party to protect us from Trump. “A Trump administration means we need to fight and the Democrats don’t fight for us,” she said. Laika, who is also a member of the Party for Socialism and Liberation, said that our strategy moving forward must be to defend the most vulnerable and oppressed communities, such as Black Trans women.
Syed Ali Hasan, from People United Against Oppression, described the wave of fear which has swept through the Muslim community in the wake of the election but also reminded the crowd that for Muslims the election was a choice between Trump’s racist attacks and Clinton’s policy of domestic surveillance and infiltration of the Muslim community. “This system has failed us,” he said.
A group of Morton College students also spoke about how their lives have been effected by the election. Kassandra Suarez was moved to tears: “This is my first time in a space like this, to be supported as a Latina, as a woman … there are no words to say thank you.”
Chanel Jeffries, an ANSWER volunteer, spoke about growing up as a Queer Black woman in the South.
Mary Dean from Centro Autonomo, the community center which hosted the mass meeting, spoke about her own experiences traveling to countries devastated by American imperialism. “I have been to Honduras and Guatemala and Afghanistan. I have seen first hand the result of US foreign policy,” she said.
John Beacham, the coordinator of ANSWER Chicago and organizer of the November 9 anti-Trump protest, stated that while Trump and Clinton both serve the interests of the ruling class, the election of a man so manifestly bigoted and semi-fascistic as Trump is an opportunity for those willing to fight for a better society. “Movements start when the powers that be go too far,” he said. Facing a crowd of hundreds of people of all races, sexualities, and genders he said, “This is the future. People coming together to fight back.”